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Southern Middle Tennessee Today News for May 16, 2023

All news stories are aggregated from various sources and modified for time and content. Original sources are cited.

We start with local news…

Landfill Company Sues Maury/Marshall Solid Waste (TennesseeLookout)

A months-long battle over plans to establish a regional trash disposal facility on a federal Superfund site in Maury County that sits alongside the Duck River has now landed in court.

Remedial Holdings filed suit Wednesday against the Marshall/Maury Municipal Solid Waste Planning Region Board, which in April rejected the company’s application to expand a landfill first created in 1986 by the Monsanto Chemical Company. The contamination from Monsanto’s operations — which included manufacturing chemical warfare agents — led to the property’s Superfund designation.

Remedial Holdings is claiming that the solid waste board failed to properly review its request to expand the landfill, instead devoting a meeting to hearing dozens of public comments against it, before moving quickly to reject the plan.

The company is asking a Davidson County Chancery Court judge to reverse the board’s decision. Daniel Murphy, who represents Maury County, said Thursday that he had reviewed the lawsuit but declined to comment.

The litigation follows months of community backlash over plans announced by Trinity Business Group — Remedial Holdings’ parent company — to build a large-scale trash, recycling and incineration facility on the old Monsanto property — conflict that has unfolded on social media, in local county and city government meetings, and at the state legislature.

Gale Moore, a Maury County resident and organizer, said Thursday she is unsurprised the company has now turned to the courts, after failing to get approval from state environmental regulators, county boards and state lawmakers.

“They’ve got a lot of money invested in this property,” Moore said Thursday. “But we’re going to be relentless as well. It’s just too important.”

“It’s disappointing that Remedial Holdings and Trinity Business Group haven’t got the clear message that the people of Maury County don’t want them,” said Scott Banbury, Conservation Program Coordinator for the Tennessee Chapter of the Sierra Club.

Trinity Business Group’s original plans called for a large-scale waste complex that could accept the household trash and other waste from scores of Tennessee counties, addressing a looming trash crisis in the state as existing landfills near the end of their lifespan.

The company’s initial permit requests — for a tire shredding facility, construction and municipal waste processing plants and an incinerator that would burn non-recyclable materials to generate electricity — were put on hold by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, which directed the company to seek approval first from Maury County and the city of Columbia.

The company has failed to get those approvals.

Thousands of Maury County residents, concerned about the impact of such operations along the Duck River — a key source of drinking water, agricultural water supplies and recreation — then successfully pressed state lawmakers to enact more protections. A new law now designates the portion of the Duck River that winds past the old Monsanto property as a state-recognized scenic waterway, which precludes industrial development along its banks.

Should the company win their case in court on grounds the solid waste planning board didn’t follow the law in reviewing the company’s proposal, the company will still face opposition, Banbury said.

“Even if the decision of the Marshall-Maury Regional Solid Waste Board is reversed, the applicants will have to address the concerns of the communities of Maury County and the City of Columbia under the Jackson Law and the recent designation of the Duck River through Maury County as a Class II Scenic River,” he said.

What remains unclear is if the company can ultimately make a case that the decades-old landfill already at the site can be grandfathered in to escape both the scenic river designation rules and the local approval requirements.

MSD IT Professionals (WKOM Audio 2:25)

Yesterday, MSD IT Professionals opened their new office in Spring Hill. WKOM/WKRM’s Delk Kennedy went to the ribbon cutting to learn about what that business has to offer…

CSCC Graduates Respiratory Care Students (Press Release)

Columbia State Community College recognized nine respiratory care graduates during its annual pinning ceremony.


Students who are trained to work as respiratory therapists provide assessment, diagnostic evaluation, treatment and care for patients with breathing disorders. Upon completion of the program, graduates have become experts in artificial ventilation, resuscitation and airway management.     

Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of settings including long-term care facilities, home care agencies and area hospitals, such as Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Maury Regional Medical Center, Southern Tennessee Regional Health System Lawrenceburg, Saint Thomas West Hospital, Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital and Monroe Carrel Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

“Respiratory therapists, as many other health professionals, are in high demand,” said Cindy Smith, program director and assistant professor of the respiratory care program. “Our graduates have all accepted positions, and are eager to begin their career. If you are interested in healthcare, I urge you to consider respiratory care.”

Columbia State’s respiratory care program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care. All students participate in supervised, hands-on care in a variety of area healthcare settings and receive adult, pediatric and neonatal training. 

“Skilled respiratory therapists are highly valued members of the healthcare team,” said Dr. Kae Fleming, dean of the Health Sciences Division and professor of radiologic technology. “These graduates join a long line of Columbia State graduates who make life-saving decisions for patients daily.”


For more information about applying to the respiratory care program, visit 

Columbia Main Street Accreditation (Press Release)

Columbia Main Street has been designated as an Accredited Main Street America™ program for meeting rigorous performance standards. Each year, Main Street America and its partners announce the accredited programs to recognize their exceptional commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach™.


Columbia Main Street’s performance is measured annually by the City of Columbia and Columbia Main Street Corporation which works in partnership with Main Street America™ to identify the local programs that meet national performance standards. To qualify for Accreditation status, communities must meet a set of rigorous standards that include commitments to building grassroots revitalization programs, fostering strong public-private partnerships, nurturing economic opportunity for small businesses and entrepreneurs, and actively preserving historic places, spaces, and cultural assets.

“In 2022, our downtown saw over 5 million dollars in private investment for our beloved buildings. We saw 17 new businesses, 120 new jobs, and over 200,000 in attendance for community-inspired events,” said Kelli Messmer Johnson, the Columbia Main Street Manager. “Downtown Columbia is growing with new resident and visitors, bringing momentum and passion to our downtown events and projects, plus, it’s driving new commerce and building projects due to its popularity. Visitors and future residents who chose to travel to Columbia feel the energy and love of those that work to make this town great.” 


“Columbia continues its tradition of excellence with its involvement with Main Street America,” states Columbia Main Street Board Chairman Montee Sneed. “We were on the ground near the very beginning of the movement in the early 1980s.  Columbia has benefitted tremendously from our participation in the restoration of historic Downtown. While much has been done, much remains to do.” 


In 2022, Main Street America™ programs generated $6.2 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 7,657 new businesses, facilitated the creation of 29,174 new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 10,688 historic buildings, and leveraged 1,528,535 volunteer hours. On average, for every dollar that a Main Street program spent to support its operations, it generated $24.07 of new investment back into its downtown communities. Collectively, 2 million people live or work within the boundaries of designated Main Street America districts. An estimated workforce of 1.1 million people contributes their skills and expertise to advancing the missions of these historic downtowns and commercial corridors.


“We are very proud to acknowledge this year’s 862 Accredited Main Street America™ programs and their steadfast dedication to nurturing economically and culturally vibrant downtown districts,” said Hannah White, Interim President & CEO of Main Street America. “The increase in the size and impact of our network speaks volumes to the power of the Main Street movement to respond to the needs of local communities and drive innovative solutions.”

Fallen Law Enforcement Officers Day (WKOM Audio 2:00)

The Fallen Law Enforcement Officer Day will happen this evening here in Columbia. WKOM/WKRM’s Delk Kennedy spoke with Sergeant Brian Goetz to learn the details about the event…

Locals Write Graphic Novels (CDH)

Heroes can be found in the most unlikely characters, cousins Kanye and Ryon Conway say of their second graphic novel, titled, “Mammon.”

The cousins are back with a first for Maury County Public Library and their second installment for The Magic Elf series.

According to marketing and public relations coordinator, Jennifer Russell Hidalgo, a local author has never released two consecutive books from the Maury County Public Library.

“Nightman,” the Conway cousins’ first graphic novel release, was followed up with a second novel at the signing party at Maury County Public Library at the end of April.

As with the first novel in the planned trilogy, the cousins say there was a shared portion of the work between the both of them, from conceiving the character, creating the art and constructing the story.

The family got a front-row seat to the creative process, as the kitchen table gave them a place to spread their ingredients and compose the literary recipe.

“They began when they were eight years old,” Kanye’s mom, Kaliente Glenn said. “That is the uniqueness here.”

Kaliente said that making her son and nephew sit down and write was never a task she had to make them do.

“It was always the purpose to help them develop what they created,” Glenn said.

Kanye said often he will get an idea, pitch it to his cousin, and if he agrees to it, they work together on integrating it into the story.

There is a very specific and biblical concept in mind for the stories Kanye and Ryon are working to compile. Some of the story contains Bible verses and characters are somewhat based on people discussed in the Bible.

“His name came from the seven deadly sins,” Kanye said. “Greed – and greed meaning mammon.”

Mammon (a Latin-derived English word) literally means wealth or riches, but is usually associated with its negative connotations.

“This is a twist on the narrative of his name,” Kanye said. “Mammon wants to protect the human race by himself."

Mammon, an antihero of sorts, can work with others, the young author said, but runs into issues with being a team player for long periods of time.

Ryon conceived of the “blue demon” aspect of the character.

“The whole time he is going to be trying to prove himself – that he’s a good person,” Ryon said.

When it came to picking the look of the character, the cousins shared a funny “kitchen table” creative moment that resulted in a decision.

“Ryon asked me, ‘what color is he? Is he white? Is he black?” “I said, ‘he’s blue … dude. Ryon was like, ‘I didn’t know!’”

This is the main difference about Mammon, the creative cousins agreeing, they wanted a demon who was not red.

“We want to bring something new to the table,” Kanye said. “Something familiar, but new.”

“We want it to be something that stands out,” Ryon said.

Without horns or a pitchfork, Mammon is not your traditional demon, but one with a hope for a redemptive character arc, and their first two novels are only the start.

As for what they’re hoping to tell readers with their story?

“It’s ok to look after yourself,” Kanye said. “But it’s also good to look after others.”

And Mammon will be a character who will excel and do good despite what others think of him.

The larger picture for the story series will tie together stories the Conway Boyz are building for “Horizon Universe.”

Ryon said he draws inspiration from older Batman comics as one artistic inspiration. “The Long Halloween” and “Dark Knight Returns” are two of his favorite comic runs.

From the cover art and the story, the “Conway Boyz” seem to reflect a Manga-style of storytelling, or a Japanese styling of comics and graphic novels that lean more into the literary crafting than anime, which expresses more visual artistry.

Ryon enjoys the graphic novels of Frank Miller, while Kanye mentioned stories by Todd McFarlane and Stan Lee and the Batman stories of Tom King.

“With Todd McFarlane, I like his idea of how he did Spawn,” Kanye said. “He’s open minded to ideas, and Ryon knows this too – McFarlane didn’t make the skin a point. It didn’t matter what race he is. I like this.”

Kanye’s mother, Kaliente Glenn is extremely proud, along with the rest of the family that the boys are using their creativity in a positive way.

The family all agrees the weight of the topics the cousins are addressing are complex. 

“They would always sit at that table at my mama’s house – their grandmother,” Kaliente said. “They would always whisper and talk there to come up with their ideas.

“Some kids like to play games, some do sports,” Kaliente said. “These boys sit down, and they write.”

“It’s beyond us, how proud we are,” Kanye’s father, Jeremy Glenn said.

“Though I don’t count it as a disability, for my son to work with that and overcome [Asperger’s], he’s his own person. He’s blossomed like a flower.”

“We’ve just been here to encourage what he likes doing,” Jeremy said. “They are the dynamic duo.”

And now, Your Hometown Memorials, Sponsored by Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home…  

Mr. Neal Fraser Blair, 90, retired accountant with Dupont/Spontex, died Saturday at St. Thomas West Hospital in Nashville. Funeral services for Mr. Blair will be conducted Wednesday at 11:00 A.M. at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home. The family will visit with friends Tuesday from 5:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. at the funeral home. Burial will be at Polk Memorial Gardens.

Ms. Marjorie Helen Wrye, 84, died unexpectedly on Friday at her residence in Columbia. The family of Ms. Wrye will visit with friends Tuesday, from 4:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home. Funeral services for Ms. Wrye will be held Thursday at 12:00 P.M. at Spring Hill Funeral Home in Madison, Tennessee. Burial will follow in Spring Hill Cemetery in Madison. The family will visit with friends from 11:00 A.M. until service time at Spring Hill Funeral Home.

…And now, news from around the state…

Statehood Day (MauryCountySource)

The Tennessee State Library & Archives will celebrate 227 years of statehood by hosting free events on Statehood Day, Thursday, June 1, and a family-friendly celebration event on Saturday, June 3.

“The Library & Archives displays Tennessee’s three original constitutions once a year to celebrate statehood,” said Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “This is an opportunity for Tennesseans to see the original documents that still to this day provide the foundation of our state government. There will be so much for visitors to explore on Statehood Day and at our family-friendly celebration on June 3. I hope Tennesseans join us for either or both days of celebration.”

On Statehood Day, June 1, Debbie Mathis Watts will perform her song, “The Tennessee in Me,” an official state song of Tennessee, starting at 8 a.m. The Library & Archives, with assistance from the Tennessee Highway Patrol Honor Guard, will transfer Tennessee’s three priceless original constitutions from 1796, 1834 and 1870, typically protected in a vault, to the Library & Archives’ lobby. The constitutions will remain on display until 4:30 p.m.

The Library & Archives will also feature rarely seen historical documents, including the Cumberland Compact, Governor John Sevier’s Address to the first Tennessee General Assembly, the Cherokee Nation 1827 Constitution and the founding documents of the State of Franklin.

In addition to viewing Tennessee’s original founding documents, guests can pick up free historical craft kits and receive a Passport to Tennessee History. The free Passport to Tennessee History features information about the Library & Archives, Tennessee State Museum, Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park and the Tennessee State Capitol and space to collect a distinct stamp from each location.

“The Library & Archives team is excited to welcome visitors during our two days of Statehood Day celebrations,” said Tennessee State Librarian and Archivist Jamie Ritter. “We hope parents bring their children to our family-friendly event celebration on Saturday, June 3, and have some fun while learning something new about the history of Tennessee.”

On Saturday, June 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Library & Archives is hosting a family-friendly Statehood Day Celebration event with a children’s scavenger hunt, games, crafts and historical interpreters. On June 3, Tennessee’s three original constitutions and other founding documents will be displayed publicly in the Library & Archives lobby from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Library & Archives is joining Bicentennial Mall State Park and the Tennessee State Museum for a variety of events to celebrate Statehood Day. Park Rangers will offer a free guided tour of Bicentennial Mall State Park starting outside the Tennessee State Library & Archives at 9 a.m. For more information, visit

The State Museum is celebrating Statehood Day with a children’s story time, statehood artifacts on display, family crafts and a Statehood Anniversary Commemoration at noon on June 1. For the Tennessee State Museum’s full schedule of Statehood Day activities visit,

The Library & Archives’ Statehood Day Celebration events will take place at our building, 1001 Rep. John Lewis Way N., on the northeast corner of the Bicentennial Mall State Park in Nashville. Attending the Library & Archives Statehood Day Celebration events is free. No reservations are required.

For more information about the Library & Archives Statehood Day Celebration, visit

Final Story of the Day (Maury County Source)

Nashville Shores is officially open for its 25th season. Beginning now, the park will be open each weekend until May 25 when it opens seven days a week.

Located at 4001 Bell Road in Hermitage, the waterpark is located on the shores of Percy Priest Lake.

The longstanding attraction has more than one million gallons of water, a lazy river, a wave pool, ten slides, three pools and lakeside attractions.

Park hours for this weekend will be 10 am until 6 pm.

General admission tickets for those 48 inches and over will be $49.99 plus tax. They offer military and senior discounts. After 4 pm, a twilight option is available for $29.99. Children under two are free.

Find more information visit


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